Pollard in doubt for Bulls Super Rugby start

Handre Pollard has an injured shoulder

Pretoria based Super Rugby team the Bulls have suffered a blow ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season as Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard has suffered an injury playing in Japan.

Pollard was permitted to play in Japan for NTT Doccomo in the off-season but he has suffered a shoulder injury that threatens to keep him out for some time.

The flyhalf has returned to South Africa while his club try to avoid relegation in the Japanese championship and the Bulls are hoping his injury is not too serious.

Many South African players have a stint in Japan to boost their income and return to South Africa for the Super Rugby season but the lack of a break often sees them pick up injuries during the Super Rugby season.

Pollard told SuperSport that his shoulder injury is not a new one and that it was troubling him so he needs to get it sorted out before playing a long season.

The Bulls are concerned about the injury and are worried that he could miss their warm up matches and the start of the season.

The Bulls start their Super Rugby season against the Stormers at Newlands at the end of February and after last year’s player departures Pollard is one of their senior players.

Bulls coach Nollis Marais has admitted that he is worried about Vice captain Pollard’s injury given how inexperienced his young squad is.

“Handre is a bit of a concern at the moment, we will have a discussion with his specialist and see what the route forward is,” Marais told SuperSport.

“We need to decide how serious it is – is it only a two week rehab or is it more serious. I’m waiting for Thys de Beer to give me a call regarding the shoulder.”

The Bulls have back up depth in veteran Francois Brummer who has returned to Pretoria from a stint with the Cheetahs and he could play in the warm ups against the Cheetahs in Harare and the Lions in Polokwane.

“It is a major concern for us, but luckily we brought in Francois Brummer last year because I knew if something like this happens, we will have a bit of a problem,” Marais continued.

“Tiaan (Schoeman) is also coming back from injury, he will be on the field next week. He had that meniscus injury so it just basically a last week of rehab that is left before he can play again.”

Bulls winger/fullback Duncan Matthews also injured his knee in training on Monday and he is expected to be out for a few weeks.

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